Thanksgiving is always a busy time for air travel and despite the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are still planning to hit the airports this year.
However, the TSA has implemented several changes to the security screening process because of COVID. Known as “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure” the changes may be new to Americans who haven’t traveled during the pandemic.
Let’s #StayHealthyStaySecure! TSA recommends arriving early, social distancing and wearing a mask. For more info about the TSA response to COVID-19 and adjustments made at security screening checkpoints, please visit https://t.co/MW5q4Qa6Em pic.twitter.com/deoEwDtpFP
— TSA (@TSA) November 9, 2020
To help you know what to expect when hitting the airport and how you can best prepare, the TSA has released five important tips to help you trot through security and catch your flight on time.
Know What to Expect and Don’t Forget Your Mask!
First, don’t leave the house without your face masks – and a couple of backups. Face masks are mandatory but you will be asked to momentarily remove your mask to verify your identity when going through security. Travelers are also allowed to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces, in carry-on luggage. Be prepared for social distancing measures to be implemented when going through security, so allow yourself some extra time.
Enroll in TSA PreCheck now to expedite screening and reduce touchpoints
The TSA wants to remind people that travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck don’t have to remove shoes, belts, lightweight jackets, electronics, or their bag of travel-size liquids and gels. Not only does it help you maneuver through security quickly, but it also minimizes touchpoints. If you enroll this week, NBC reports it’s likely you will be eligible for TSA PreCheck in time for Thanksgiving travel.
Download the Free TSA App
Prior to travel the TSA recommends downloading the TSA App, which is free. The app provides travelers 24/7 access to the most frequently requested airport security information. The app also provides information on flight delays.
Know What Foods You Can Bring Before Flying
While many travelers over the Thanksgiving period like to bring their favorite dish to share with family, the TSA wants to remind passengers there are some special steps you need to follow when packing certain food items in carry-on luggage. According to NBC, the TSA recommends you remove food items from your carry-on luggage and place it in a bin for screening. To prevent possible cross-contamination, the food items should be packed in a plastic bag before being placed in the screening bin. In addition, not all food items can be transported in carry-on luggage, with the TSA reminding travelers if you can spill it, pump it, spread it, or pour it, it needs to go in a checked bag.
Follow TSA on Twitter
The TSA recommends Thanksgiving travelers follow them on Twitter for helpful travel tips that are posted regularly. Travelers can also get answers to their questions by sending them to @AskTSA on Twitter.